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The rationale for selecting the Central Karoo as a focus point for our youth programme was based on the fact that our research indicates that a considerable amount of child domestic workers originate from the Central Karoo region. Thus the beneficiaries of this project were:

• Vulnerable youth aged between the ages of 14-18,
• Youth who have been involved in child domestic work or are either at risk of becoming child domestic workers
• Potential victims of child trafficking

Participants for the project for 2009 are being selected from the Central Karoo towns of Beaufort West, Leeu-Gamka, Laingsburg, Merweville and Murraysburg.  Each participant would be part of a year long programme and would be entrusted with the responsibility of imparting the skills learned to other peers and children within their communities. Imparting skills through workshops offered on the youth camps will inevitably necessitate and encourage the children to form an organized collective amongst themselves within their respective towns.

The youth programme was devised with the intention of affecting positive change in the lives of rural youth through a process of life skills and skills training. The intended objective of this project is to tackle the root causes of child labour by equipping vulnerable youth with viable alternatives to sustain themselves. Like its name, the Masenzeni Ushintsho Project not merely intends to improve the quality of these children’s lives but endeavours to capacitate them to become catalysts for change within their communities.